It doesn’t get more Greek than a traditional Tzatziki dip. Cool, creamy and very simple to make, Tzatziki is great on a mezze platter or as a sauce over barbequed meat.
Tzatziki (Yoghurt and Cucumber Dip)
When most people think of Tzatziki, fresh cucumbers and thick Greek yoghurt are the first things that come to mind. But a great Tzatziki dip is also about adding lots of garlic (your taste buds will thank you, even if your friends don’t).
How you prepare the cucumbers will also make a difference. If you can buy seedless cucumbers, that’s great. If not, you will need to deseed them which is easy enough to do. A melon baller is great for scooping out the seeds. Cucumbers hold a lot of liquid, so to avoid having a watery Tzatziki, grate the deseeded cucumber (as shown) then squeeze out any excess liquid. This will give you a creamy Tzatziki and avoid pools of cucumber juice accumulating on the surface of the dip.
The use of dill or mint in Tzatizki is a point of contention. Some say that adding one or both is not adhering to the traditional recipe, others say the opposite. I grew up eating Tzatziki without dill or mint stirred through. If l do add it, as l have in this recipe, it’s just for decorative purposes.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- 1 Lebanese cucumber (roughly 18 cm / 7 inches long) (Note 1)
- 500 g (16 oz) Greek style yoghurt (Note 2)
- 2 cloves garlic (grated or minced)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- Dill fronds
- Squeeze out any excess water from the grated cucumber. Place in a medium bowl.
- Pour the yoghurt into the same bowl. Add the grated garlic and olive oil. Mix.
- Add salt to taste. I usually add 2 tsp.
- Transfer to a serving dish and decorate with dill fronds and extra drops of olive oil.
- To avoid a watery Tzatziki, make sure you deseed the cucumber. After grating, squeeze out any excess liquid with your hands.
- Not all Greek style yoghurt is the same. Go for a brand with a nice thick consistency.
To achieve that classic Tzatziki taste, you have to pay attention to the finer details, but l think you’ll agree that it’s worth it!!